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Growing Resistance To Existing Antibiotics A Serious Threat, Says Study

India is among the worst hit, with growing resistance to key and last-resort antibiotics.

New Delhi:

The growing resistance to existing antibiotics amidst the shrinking pipeline of newer drugs is a serious threat to attaining the SDG target by 2030, according to a new study.

In the study published in the journal Lancet Regional Health – Southeast Asia, six-year data from 21 tertiary care centres in the Indian Council of Medical Research’s AMR Surveillance Network (IAMRSN) were retrospectively analysed to estimate trends in anti-microbial resistance.

The study ‘Emerging trends in antimicrobial resistance in bloodstream infections: multicentric longitudinal study in India (2017-2022)’ was conducted by researchers from Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi and ICMR.

“Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has escalated to pandemic levels, posing a significant global health threat. This study examines the patterns and trends of AMR in Bloodstream Infections (BSIs) across India, aiming to inform better surveillance and intervention strategies,” the study published in the May 9 edition said.

The study utilised retrospective data from the ICMR AMR Surveillance Network (IAMRSN), established in 2013.

The findings indicated significant monthly increases in resistance to antibiotics Imipenem and Meropenem – used to treat infections caused by bacteria Klebsiella, E coli, and Acinetobacter BSIs.

Importantly, resistance to broad-spectrum antibiotic carbapenem in Carbapenem resistance in hospital-acquired bloodstream infections (HA-BSIs) preceded that in community-acquired bloodstream infections (CA-BSIs) in respect to infections caused by Klebsiella and Acinetobacter.

The study observed that E. coli and Klebsiella isolates have become highly resistant to Cephalosporins and Fluoroquinolones, with additional resistance to Carbapenems also being noted in the case of Klebsiella.

The study said AMR represents a global health crisis, with an estimated 4.95 million deaths in 2019 and projections suggesting up to 10 million annual deaths by 2050.

Low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are particularly vulnerable to AMR, a situation exacerbated by high rates of infectious diseases, increased antibiotic use and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Without appropriate interventions, AMR could undermine the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), potentially plunging millions into extreme poverty by 2030.

India is among the worst hit, with growing resistance to key and last-resort antibiotics.

The study findings underscore the urgency of the escalating AMR crisis and its implications for broader development goals.

“This necessitates immediate and targeted interventions, including further research, increased funding, and the formulation of effective local policies for AMR containment,” the researchers said. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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